Monday, October 31, 2011

the end of my birthday month and

what i want to be in this 29th year. 

well, for starters, i'd like to drink more coffee. 
just kidding. 
okay, i'd like to just do more of what i'm doing now—
celebrating the seasons, learning to love, discovering
this southern city i live in, enjoying my Lord Jesus, 
writing and reading, cooking and cleaning
(got a little carried away with the rhyming),
you get the picture—oh and taking more pictures!

here's to 11 more months of it!
(and some photos of our home now)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

crispy, crunchy, crackily fall recap

 a whole free weekend?

well, mostly.
i finally started getting up early
to write first thing in the morning. so far 
it's helped with my so-called writer's block
(i.e. laziness). 
on sat. morning, lars and i saw the most gorgeous
fall leaves—hot pink and orange and persimmon.
i wished i had my camera.
we visited our neighborhood coffee shop twice, 
it was so lovely. i definitely could spend some
hours writing there one of these days. 
we also spent a lot of time sleeping, too much
time in traffic trying to find kitchen table chairs, 
and not enough time outside, but it was so relaxing. 
now i'm going to spend the
last of my free weekend watching a movie,
before my 10:30 bedtime. 
this weekend:
sat. morning coffee run
the library, our neighborhood coffee shop

just along for the ride

sun night dessert treat

better than a donut:)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


first dinner guests
in our new place. 

i don't always like to take pictures when i have 
people over because i feel like it's sort of 
intrusive, and I'd rather focus on spending time
with our guests, than taking great pictures.

so then you get photos like this, which is
fine, but doesn't exactly do the meal 
justice;). so let me just tell you, it was really nice!
the veggie pumpkin lasagna i tried turned
out pretty good, too. i love cooking seasonal!
but honestly, it's the company that was
(and is always) the best part.

Friday, October 28, 2011

good news

45 hour review passed!!!!

after a 2 hour review/presentation of the past
year's worth of writing and the essay i wrote
last week, i have been deemed ready to continue
working toward my mfa in writing.
now all i have to worry about is my thesis ;o/ :)
(and a few more classes).

and i was so relieved/inspired that i went
home and actually worked on my story!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

this is real life

an itty bitty byline in Atlanta magazine!

so here's the thing. i got my undergraduate degree
in journalism and i thought i didn't want to do that. 
but then here i am again, doing it, and i'm starting to
think that i didn't really know what i want. and probably
 i never will. cause yesterday i was thinking  
a phd in history! yeah! 
seriously. who am i kidding? i obviously just
need to get the heck out of school and write.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

mi casa es su casa

another overnight guest.

 i love having a second 'bedroom,'
so that we aren't putting people on the 
couch every time!

did i ever tell you one of my dreams
once was to open a family-run b&b? 
well, it's true. 
so far casa grace only has two couches,
two inflatable mattresses, and two kitchen table
chairs (as in, none for guests). 
but we do have a husky pup who will
lick your face for free! is that a deal or what?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

atleast there was no mic.

reading tonight at MODA
a podcast i wrote and recorded last year
for another class. 
yes, yes, i'm such an experienced
reader now.
does someone maybe want to hire me
to give readings when i graduate? ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

lunch al fresco

pretending it's summer (again). 

i decided to take myself outside today, 
to soak up a little extra vitamin d...
i've been feeling a little out of sorts, maybe or
maybe not due to some writer's block,
and i think being out in the sunlight really helped.
exercising afterward didn't hurt either. 
i think i'd like to live somewhere where it's sunny
and nice outside a lot of the time.
who's with me?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

sunday night

jazz makes me grilled cheese
for dinner. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

extra company

giving hospitality
for a weekend college conference
and the cinnamon rolls we made this morning.
also, watching this little guy have the time
of his life playing in the drink bins. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

70 degrees please

oh heat!
how we've missed you!
after a few days of insane coldness inside, 
we finally have the gas on. how oh how did
they do it before? you should have seen me and
lars this morning, hunkered down, trying to get 
work done while we waited for the gas men. 
i even covered lars with a blanket, which i'm not
sure he needed, but he seemed happy about it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

my new motto. ha!

today i was reminded how nice it is to be in school,
even though i spend most of the time stressed out 
about this or that's been nice to just
go into the library the past couples of days and 
get work done
also, if i'm this distracted with a dog, i'm so glad
i'm not going back to school with kids! 
although i'm sure that without either i'd still
find plenty of ways to procrastinate.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

the birthday that keeps coming!

 this is definitely one of the most thoughtful gifts ever, 
from my dear Chelsea, who read my post about bouquets
of black pilot pens, and got them as a birthday gift.
you are the sweetest and you made my day, Chelsea!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

me vs. him

books vs. iphone

i just thought the juxtaposition of these pictures
was funny. it pretty much aptly
sums up the difference between my idea
of entertainment and jazz's. 
although, obviously i love cameras...

new phone:)

Monday, October 17, 2011

four on the floor

lars reads a few good books
ursula le guin's novella the new atlantis
and j.m. coetzee's waiting for the barbarians
 both really good, i might add.

he's helping me write my 45 hour review research essay
(or so i wish). 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

coming together

i'm really excited about the bookshelves
and nightstands we finally got. it's about time, huh? 
unfortunately, it's like pulling teeth to get me to go
furniture/home goods shopping. but today was so nice
i didn't want to do any work—even though i have quite a lot
this week. my idea was to build bookshelves out of bricks 
and large pieces of wood from home depot, but then we
found these really cheap ones at target. also,
i'm so glad jazz insisted on the container store 
at the last minute (even though i was a grump about it) 
because we found really cute night stands. 

lugging home our target bookshelves. yay! no more boxes!
awesome nightstand + awesome ikea lamps

Saturday, October 15, 2011

it's loverly outside

perfect fall weather. 

i was looking out my window today, while writing,
and thinking that the weather was so perfect
that it could almost have been spring. not that fall
weather isn't good, too. but everything just seemed
so bright, cheery and fresh today. 
a perfect day for apple picking or picnics in the park.
or, even better, a picnic at this cottage in France,
that i'm daydreaming about visiting.

then i went back to writing ;)
i also enjoyed this pumpkin on a late-afternoon walk: 

hope you're outside enjoying the fall weather for me while
i sit at my desk!

Friday, October 14, 2011

photographer guest post

guess what? today i have a special guest, 
photographer Pey-Jing Mehrinfar of Li Mehrinfar Studios
who agreed to answer a few of my questions. 
as you know, i love photography, and since she is a super cool
and talented photographer, it was a perfect match:)

Here she is:

Hi Pey-Jing! Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Pey-Jing Mehrinfar of Li Mehrinfar Studios, and I shoot people and love every minute of it!

How did you get into photography?

I started playing with cameras when I was thirteen, during the era of film photography. Of course I did not know what I was doing, but I had fun. I was the paparazzo of my classmates, always snapping a picture to capture the moment. 

I purchased an SLR camera when I began college. Three years of being a violin major did not satisfy my artistic endeavors. Finally, I decided to take the leap and switch majors to photography. It is one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
I love that you were the paparazzo at 13! How would you describe your style now?

It’s hard to assign a specific category to my style, but I could say that I strive toward candid portraiture. I also love landscape and architectural photography, and if I traveled more, I would love to shoot more of both.

What or who inspires you?

It's not just Ansel Adams, who I do think, quite frankly, is a genius. It is also those like Bill Brandt, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, Cindy Sherman, Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz who all unlock a universe of artistic possibilities to me. The two photographers whose work has always stayed with me are Cindy Sherman and Alfred Stieglitz. Masterful is an understatement when describing their photography. Sherman inspired me to take more self-portraits. Stieglitz showed me the beauty of New York as well as the simple artistry of portraiture.

What kind of equipment do you use?

Buying my Nikon D700 in 2007 was one of the most pivotal events in my career. It changed the way I saw photography forever. But I soon learned that even with a quality camera body, expensive lenses would be crucial to my survival as a professional photographer.

What is your favorite lens?

I usually use my Nikkor 1.4/50 mm lens for portrait photography, although I have been drooling over an 80 mm for that same function. When it comes to wedding photography, I usually leave it up to my 2.8/24-70 mm lens. On the more rare occasions of needing a sense of grandeur such as landscape or architectural photography, I turn to my favorite lens of all time, the 2.8/14-24 mm ultra wide lens. Between those three lenses, I can usually do what I need to do.

What kind of lighting equipment do you use?

I usually use natural light for portraits, although if I had the funds, I would definitely get some strobe lights. For now, I settle with my flash that I attach onto my camera when needed. The awesome thing about light is that it is so versatile. As long as you have light, you have something to work with. I’ve found that working on a manual setting for aperture and shutter speed is the best way to get accurate light readings for photographs. To me, any other way is problematic. That’s just coming from someone who’s tried it all the different ways and prefers manual.

What editing material do you use?

Most of my “darkroom” alterations are done in Adobe Lightroom. Because of the versatility of Lightroom, I haven’t fiddled much with Photoshop lately, though I do use it to watermark my images and prep them for internet viewing.

What are the best and hardest things about photography?

I really enjoy taking people’s portraits because I see it as telling a story. Who is this person? What kind of personality will show through the lens? The most challenging part of portrait photography is working with people and drawing out their real personality. This can cause some degree of anxiety when shooting someone for the first time. Even though I know what I’m doing, I get butterflies. I just want to capture everything perfectly.

Wedding photograph poses a greater degree of difficulty than portraiture. I get jittery before shooting a wedding, but when I’m actually there, everything comes naturally, and I do enjoy myself.

When you're shooting weddings do you have to direct a lot of the pictures, or does it all just happen naturally?
Usually, when taking photographs of the bride and groom, there is a lot of direction that needs to be given. But once the general suggestions are given, I like to let the moment lead to a genuine representation of the couple’s union.
Do you have any tips for directing/making clients comfortable during a portrait session?

I like to joke around a little to get my subjects to loosen up a bit and maybe even catch them in a secret smile together.

It sounds like you have a great job! What do you love most about it?

It’s been a fun journey as a professional photographer, eating cake at weddings and capturing one of the most joyous times of people’s lives. Sometimes it seems too good to be true that I get paid to do this! It’s hard work, don’t get me wrong, but it is rewarding and such an adventure every single wedding or photo shoot.

I love shooting people and wouldn’t give it up for the world!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Pey-Jing!
I think you're a really wonderful photographer, and I loved hearing about what you do!